The Foreign Tongue
In a street car (careening bumper-car
down Bloor), I reconstruct Eliot’s lines.
September rains on chalk drawings,
October frost epistle to Canadian ears.
A maple sugar bush is ferreted from
London pubs. The hush of newspapers
over dinner becomes a horse and buggy
on a mud-slapped Mennonite road.
Acadian music saws northern lumber.
A steel rail runs from Nova Scotia
to British Colombia. Were Eliot to read
this language, he would hear a stranger.
But I smile and consume the lilting breath
of each small word; happily hum at home.